Ferryland, NL, incorporated as a town in 1971, population 465 (2011c), 529 (2006c). The Town of Ferryland is located 72 km south of St John's on the shores of a picturesque harbour dominated by a large lighthouse. The name Ferryland is probably derived from the French (forillon) or Portuguese (farelhão) for "steep rock" or "reef," and was first noted on maps as early as 1529.
A seasonal fishing station for migratory European fishing ships in the 1600s, Ferryland was founded in 1621 as the capital of the English colony of Avalon by George CALVERT, first Lord Baltimore. In 1638 it was forcibly possessed by David KIRKE, and it remained in the immediate Kirke family until 1708, despite claims by Calvert's heirs. The fishing settlement was fortified from Baltimore's time, and was further fortified in 1743, 1746, 1776 and 1812 during periods of Anglo-French and Anglo-American conflict. The predominantly English colony received a great influx of Irish fishing servants in the 1700s. In the 1800s it was a major supply and fishing centre, controlled by local and St John's merchants.
Modern Ferryland is a regional services and administrative centre. Before the COD moratorium, fishing was the mainstay of the town's economy. The original colony is being uncovered by an archeological dig (see FERRYLAND ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE.)